NAMM Show Offers Vastly Expanded Education, Training Programs

More pro-audio manufacturers will be on hand as well

If you were considering checking out some of the drums, guitars, keyboards, and other musical instruments that occupy most of the 1-million-plus sq. ft. of exhibit space at the Anaheim Convention Center during the annual NAMM Show, you may find yourself distracted by the hugely expanded professional-audio education and training programs scheduled for the event taking place Jan. 16-19.

The Audio Engineering Society’s AES Academy, a four-day international education and training program, targets working professionals in live sound, recording, and performance audio. The symposium comprises a series of premier training academies and related technical sessions, designed by a team of topical specialists and experts to create a new learning format that will appeal to audio veterans and aspiring professionals. (The program requires a separate registration and fee.)

TEC Tracks offers 60-plus free sessions for sound, studio, and stage professionals. In these big-picture programs, industry legends and thought leaders present innovative ideas for the recording, live-sound, and music business.

A3E (Advanced Audio + Applications Exchange) is a future-focused program that explores how advanced audio applications are transforming the music industry, production, and performance. Meet the pioneers of each field as they come together and define the future of music technology at A3E.

In addition, manufacturers and other suppliers will run their own training sessions, such as the Dante networking trainings, hosted by Audinate, on Jan. 16 and 17.

Given the pervasive use of music and audio throughout sports production, from broadcast to venue, the education programs will have significant applications for SVG members. For instance, the AES Academy will offer panels and trainings on wireless applications: for example, a wireless-spectrum update panel with Lectrosonics’ Karl Winkler; Shure’s AXIENT intro and wireless workbench (WWB) training; and TEC Tracks’ keynote panel on immersive audio offered from the mixer’s perspective.

Although the NAMM Show remains focused on music, an expansion of the convention center three years ago created a large and dedicated pro-audio expo hall, reflecting growth in pro-audio education and training programs at the show. That combination of physical locus and expanded training has transformed what had been a century-old convention focused on musical instruments into one that also encompasses professional-sound technologies. That has made it attractive to such suppliers of broadcast-audio equipment as intercom manufacturers (and SVG sponsors) Clear-Com and Pliant Technologies and venue-sound-system manufacturers JBL and L-Acoustics.

“The NAMM organization has brought in a number of additional partners for education, and AES was specifically brought in to do that for pro audio: to raise the bar and the quality of that training,” says Frank Wells, director, communications, AES. “That’s something that AES is uniquely qualified to provide.”

NAMM Director, Professional Development, Zach Phillips adds that the NAMM Show’s education initiative, in terms of total number of sessions, has approximately tripled in the past three years.

Stuff To See (And Hear)
NAMM Show visitors will also get time with new products from relevant manufacturers.

Lectrosonics DBu-LEMO bodypack transmitter

Among them will be Lectrosonics’ new DBu-LEMO bodypack transmitter, part of the D Squared product series. Fully compatible with the company’s DSQD digital receiver, it features a tuning range of 470-608 MHz (614 MHz for export version). The new transmitter includes specially developed high-efficiency circuitry for extended operating time on two AA batteries and offers RF power selections at 10, 25, and 50 mW (roughly equivalent to an operating range of 25, 60, and 120 mW in an FM transmitter) and can be used for a wide variety of licensed or unlicensed applications. With an audio frequency response of 20 Hz to 20 kHz +0.0, -3dB, a dynamic range of 110 dB before limiting, and a flat in-band phase response, the DBu-LEMO provides studio-grade audio comparable to the best microphones and audio systems available today.

Solid State Logic (SSL) will release its Live V4.10 feature-packed update for the entire range of SSL Live consoles — L100, L200, L300, L350, L550 (including L500 and L500 Plus) — and SOLSA software. The new release provides live-sound engineers with features that expand workflow and control: the new Event Manager allows live engineers to create Events that can perform one or more actions when one or more input states are met; V-Auxes and V-Stems provide an efficient way of making mix adjustments from groups of paths using VCAs; and a new Spectrum Analyzer offers a graphical FFT analyzer overlay across channel and bus, EQ and Filters, allowing an engineer to quickly identify and resolve problem frequencies. The fixed-point-per-octave analyzer has equal resolution across the entire frequency range, providing high resolution even at low frequencies.

Pliant Technologies MicroCom M digital wireless intercom system

Pliant Technologies’ new MicroCom M, a cost-effective digital wireless intercom system available in 900 MHz and 2.4 GHz frequency bands, provides single-channel, full-duplex, multi-user intercom for applications at an attractive price point. The compact, economical system features 10-hour lithium-ion battery operation and has the ability to have up to five full-duplex users. In addition, up to four MicroCom M systems can be deployed in the same area at the same time. Its RF technology is based on an encrypted Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) transmission that ensures secure connectivity along with reliable communications.

Wheatstone Audioarts Engineering digital console

Wheatstone’s DMX digital console technology will now be marketed under the Audioarts Engineering brand and will be fully compatible with the WheatNet-IP audio network. The DMX console’s mix engine provides direct connectivity into the WheatNet-IP audio network, an ecosystem of consoles, talent stations, I/O units, accessories, and virtual tools used in radio stations around the globe. The console’s mix engine includes a built-in five-port Ethernet switch. No external switch is required to create or join an existing WheatNet-IP system, making DMX one of the more affordable entry-level IP-networked audio consoles on the market. Existing PR&E DMX users can upgrade DMX surfaces and Razors to the latest firmware to take advantage of this change. Wheatstone’s PR&E digital-console series is now marketed under the Audioarts global distribution network, bringing intelligent networking to the Audioarts brand.